The Best Catholic Film of All Time (The Cardinal)

This movie is the most pious and overly devotional (POD) movie I have ever seen. The liturgical footage is phenomenal. If you want Tridentine eye-candy, this film will keep you busy counting the embroidered fiddleback chasubles.
But the best part is the story. The movie traces the life of a man from his ordination to the Priesthood to his elevation as a Cardinal. It’s sort of a “Catholic Forest Gump,” if you will. Along the way it gets very interesting. I’ll share two of my favorite scenes.
At one point, the priest’s sister is about to die due to labor. She is not only not married but also an apostate from the Faith. The doctor informs the priest that the must abort the baby in order to save the mother. Anguish enters his face. The doctor says, “Is this some sort of religious scruple?” The priest fires back, “NO! It’s a commandment. Though shall not kill!” I won’t tell you what happens next.
Another great scene is when the Nazis are storming the Archbishop of Vienna’s palace. As they begin to destroy images of Christ and break down the door, our beloved priest (now a bishop) shouts out, “Save the Blessed Sacrament!” They run to the Cardinal of Vienna’s private altar and open the tabernacle. They very piously consume the hosts just as the Nazis barge in and begin abusing the attending priests. Anyway, the whole thing is fantastic and stirring. They care not for their lives, but only that the Blessed Sacrament might not be desecrated by the hands of the impious. You’ve got to see this movie.
When you see it, let me know what you think. It’s definitely worth buying on DVD:
<p><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Foot Note<br></p>

Caveat: The last and final scene is essentially a political speech for the Kennedy political machine. It’s basically an apology that Catholics are real Americans and are the greatest advocates of democracy. I wouldn’t be surprised if Pappa Kennedy wrote the Cardinal’s speech. Given that this move was released in 1963, Catholicism and American politics were still on their honeymoon. Forgive the film for this and you’ll love it.

The Best Catholic Film of All Time (The Cardinal)

This movie is the most pious and overly devotional (POD) movie I have ever seen. The liturgical footage is phenomenal. If you want Tridentine eye-candy, this film will keep you busy counting the embroidered fiddleback chasubles.
But the best part is the story. The movie traces the life of a man from his ordination to the Priesthood to his elevation as a Cardinal. It’s sort of a “Catholic Forest Gump,” if you will. Along the way it gets very interesting. I’ll share two of my favorite scenes.
At one point, the priest’s sister is about to die due to labor. She is not only not married but also an apostate from the Faith. The doctor informs the priest that the must abort the baby in order to save the mother. Anguish enters his face. The doctor says, “Is this some sort of religious scruple?” The priest fires back, “NO! It’s a commandment. Though shall not kill!” I won’t tell you what happens next.
Another great scene is when the Nazis are storming the Archbishop of Vienna’s palace. As they begin to destroy images of Christ and break down the door, our beloved priest (now a bishop) shouts out, “Save the Blessed Sacrament!” They run to the Cardinal of Vienna’s private altar and open the tabernacle. They very piously consume the hosts just as the Nazis barge in and begin abusing the attending priests. Anyway, the whole thing is fantastic and stirring. They care not for their lives, but only that the Blessed Sacrament might not be desecrated by the hands of the impious. You’ve got to see this movie.
When you see it, let me know what you think. It’s definitely worth buying on DVD:
<p><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Foot Note<br></p>

Caveat: The last and final scene is essentially a political speech for the Kennedy political machine. It’s basically an apology that Catholics are real Americans and are the greatest advocates of democracy. I wouldn’t be surprised if Pappa Kennedy wrote the Cardinal’s speech. Given that this move was released in 1963, Catholicism and American politics were still on their honeymoon. Forgive the film for this and you’ll love it.

The Breasts of Jerusalem: Laetare Sunday (4th Sunday in Lent)

The fourth Sunday in Lent marks the middle of Lent, and is commonly called “Laetare Sunday” from the traditional Latin Introit: “Laetare, Jerusalem; et conventum facite omnes, qui diligitis eam: gaudete cum laetitia, qui in tristitia fuistis: at exsultetis et satiemini ab uberibus consolationis vestrae. Laetatus sum in his quae dicta sunt mihi: in domum Domini ibimus,” which translates:

“Rejoice Jerusalem, and meet together all you who love her; rejoice exceedingly, you who have been in sorrow, that you may leap for joy, and be satiated with comfort from her breasts. Ps. I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: we shall go into the house of the Lord.”
The Introit recalls Zechariah 2:10 and Isaiah 66. Faithful Jerusalem is the daughter of Zion. Zion is a type of the Catholic Church and from this Holy Mother the Church, the faithful nurse like infant children. In the Introit, we are called to rejoice and find comfort at the breasts of Zion.
Notably, in the Latin missale prior to the Second Vatican Council, the epistle lesson was derived from Galatians 4. In fact, this passage is one of the few passages in the New Testament Vulgate that also uses the Latin word “laetare”:
But that Jerusalem, which is above, is free; which is our mother. For it is written: Rejoice {laetare}, thou barren, that bearest not: break forth and cry, thou that travailest not; for many are the children of the desolate, more than of her that hath a husband.
As I noted in my book The Catholic Perspective on Paul, this passage and its surrounding context is key in understanding that Paul comprehended the true Church as a “Mother.” Paul takes the Old Testament imagery of “Mother Zion” and applies it the true Church. This is a slam dunk for Catholics who find the fulfillment of Israel in the Catholic Church (see The Crucified Rabbi: Judaism and the Origins of Catholic Christianity for more on this topic). Consequently, the traditional Latin prayers and readings for Laetare Sunday are a rich bouquet of Catholic ecclesiology. The Church is the archetype of  “Mother Zion” of the Old Covenant.
The traditional Gospel reading is our Lord’s feeding of the 5,000 from St John’s Gospel. Why? Christ is in the wilderness and He feeds people miraculously. The theme of feeding at the breast continues here with Christ feeding the hungry mouths of Israel. All humans have experienced hunger and we find that Christ’s feeding ministry and the Church’s feeding ministry are one and the same. To be fed by Christ is to be fed by the Church.
The true nutrition is not bread alone, but the Word of God.
Of course, all this becomes even more significant when we contemplate how these prayers and readings are smack in the middle of Lent. Lent is a time of fasting – a time of not eating. Yet here in the middle of Lent we are reminded that Christ through our Mother the Church feeds us. The image of a child nursing at the breasts of his mother and that of a miraculous multiplication of loaves should remind us that we have “food to eat, which you know not” (Jn 4:32). The life of penance, fasting, almsgiving, and prayer feeds to the soul and prepares it for the the eternal beatific vision of God in eternity. This vision of God will truly be a feast for our eyes.
Happy Laetare Sunday!
Saint Bernard, one of my favorite saints, was fed from the breast of our Immaculate Mary after he said to her, “Show thyself my mother!” Note the mystical stream of milk entering his mouth…

The Breasts of Jerusalem: Laetare Sunday (4th Sunday in Lent)

The fourth Sunday in Lent marks the middle of Lent, and is commonly called “Laetare Sunday” from the traditional Latin Introit: “Laetare, Jerusalem; et conventum facite omnes, qui diligitis eam: gaudete cum laetitia, qui in tristitia fuistis: at exsultetis et satiemini ab uberibus consolationis vestrae. Laetatus sum in his quae dicta sunt mihi: in domum Domini ibimus,” which translates:

“Rejoice Jerusalem, and meet together all you who love her; rejoice exceedingly, you who have been in sorrow, that you may leap for joy, and be satiated with comfort from her breasts. Ps. I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: we shall go into the house of the Lord.”
The Introit recalls Zechariah 2:10 and Isaiah 66. Faithful Jerusalem is the daughter of Zion. Zion is a type of the Catholic Church and from this Holy Mother the Church, the faithful nurse like infant children. In the Introit, we are called to rejoice and find comfort at the breasts of Zion.
Notably, in the Latin missale prior to the Second Vatican Council, the epistle lesson was derived from Galatians 4. In fact, this passage is one of the few passages in the New Testament Vulgate that also uses the Latin word “laetare”:
But that Jerusalem, which is above, is free; which is our mother. For it is written: Rejoice {laetare}, thou barren, that bearest not: break forth and cry, thou that travailest not; for many are the children of the desolate, more than of her that hath a husband.
As I noted in my book The Catholic Perspective on Paul, this passage and its surrounding context is key in understanding that Paul comprehended the true Church as a “Mother.” Paul takes the Old Testament imagery of “Mother Zion” and applies it the true Church. This is a slam dunk for Catholics who find the fulfillment of Israel in the Catholic Church (see The Crucified Rabbi: Judaism and the Origins of Catholic Christianity for more on this topic). Consequently, the traditional Latin prayers and readings for Laetare Sunday are a rich bouquet of Catholic ecclesiology. The Church is the archetype of  “Mother Zion” of the Old Covenant.
The traditional Gospel reading is our Lord’s feeding of the 5,000 from St John’s Gospel. Why? Christ is in the wilderness and He feeds people miraculously. The theme of feeding at the breast continues here with Christ feeding the hungry mouths of Israel. All humans have experienced hunger and we find that Christ’s feeding ministry and the Church’s feeding ministry are one and the same. To be fed by Christ is to be fed by the Church.
The true nutrition is not bread alone, but the Word of God.
Of course, all this becomes even more significant when we contemplate how these prayers and readings are smack in the middle of Lent. Lent is a time of fasting – a time of not eating. Yet here in the middle of Lent we are reminded that Christ through our Mother the Church feeds us. The image of a child nursing at the breasts of his mother and that of a miraculous multiplication of loaves should remind us that we have “food to eat, which you know not” (Jn 4:32). The life of penance, fasting, almsgiving, and prayer feeds to the soul and prepares it for the the eternal beatific vision of God in eternity. This vision of God will truly be a feast for our eyes.
Happy Laetare Sunday!
Saint Bernard, one of my favorite saints, was fed from the breast of our Immaculate Mary after he said to her, “Show thyself my mother!” Note the mystical stream of milk entering his mouth…

I’m coming back from a M.J. Sheeben Conference in Denver (Augustine Institute)

I’m sitting in the Denver airport drinking an amazing new ale – the 400 Pound Monkey Indian Pale Ale. I just attended a FANTASTIC conference on the 19th century theologian Matthias Joseph Sheeben, hosted by Nova et Vetera and the Augustine Institute.
M.J. Scheeben (1835-1888) was a German theologian who assimilated the Thomistic tradition against German Protestantism and also against what could be labeled as “proto-Modernism.” His theology centers on the mystery of nature and grace, the hypostatic union of Christ’s two natures, and the significance of the beatific vision. He is also celebrated as an important figure in Mariology.
Scheeben is especially important in the dialogue/debate surrounding Henri de Lubac’s challenge against the received scholastic tradition regarding nature and grace. My own doctoral research on this topic touches on the “problem” of the natural and supernatural end(s) of man. Consequently, I did not want to miss to this conference. Moreover, Nova et Vetera consistently presents quality scholarship. Their roster of speakers was second to none:
Dr. Bruce Marshall (SMU)
Dr. Matthew Levering (U of Dayton)
Dr. Reinhard Hütter (Duke)
Dr. Edward Sri (Augustine Institute)
Fr. Edward Oakes, SJ (U of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein)
Dr. Jared Staudt (Augustine Institute)
Fr. Thomas Joseph White, OP (Dominican House, DC)
Fr. Charles Morerod, OP (Secretary General of the International Theological Commission)
Fr. Richard Schenk, OP (Regent of Studies, Western OP Province)
Dr. Scott Hahn (Franciscan University)
I learned very much and I’m coming home with some great notes. It was a great weekend to meet new people and see old friends. Most of all, I’m grateful for the presentations and all the conversations during our breaks about nature, grace, de Lubac, Suarez, Garrigou, Aquinas, Scotus, limbo, deification, etc. It was great…but I’m tired.
  

Why 33 Is the Perfect Age…



The significance of the age of 33:
Christ died at the age of 33.
Saint Joseph was also 33 years old when he took for wife the Virgin Mary, according to visions of Mary Agreda.
Saint Ambrose baptized the to-be Saint Augustine when Augustine was 33 years old. Also, Augustine was a bishop for 33 years.
According to Mary Jane Even, the Virgin Mary would have never changed physical appearance since her 33th year on earth, her beauty being both internal and external.
“Turning Thirty-Three” can be used as a euphemism for dying, as in, “Gramps just turned thirty-three.”

Here are other “33 facts”:
If you take the numeric value of the word “Amen” in Hebrew, it adds up to 33 (AMEN: 1+13+5+14=33).
There are 33 Doctors of the Church
The Basilica of saint Peter in Rome counts 33 chapels: 29 in the Basilica itself and 4 of more in the crypt.
His Holiness John Paul I reigned as Pope for 33 days.
Each of the three sections of Dante Divine Comedy (Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso) consist of 33 cantos.
Humans are born with 33 vertebrae.

Godspeed,
Taylor

Why 33 Is the Perfect Age…



The significance of the age of 33:
Christ died at the age of 33.
Saint Joseph was also 33 years old when he took for wife the Virgin Mary, according to visions of Mary Agreda.
Saint Ambrose baptized the to-be Saint Augustine when Augustine was 33 years old. Also, Augustine was a bishop for 33 years.
According to Mary Jane Even, the Virgin Mary would have never changed physical appearance since her 33th year on earth, her beauty being both internal and external.
“Turning Thirty-Three” can be used as a euphemism for dying, as in, “Gramps just turned thirty-three.”

Here are other “33 facts”:
If you take the numeric value of the word “Amen” in Hebrew, it adds up to 33 (AMEN: 1+13+5+14=33).
There are 33 Doctors of the Church
The Basilica of saint Peter in Rome counts 33 chapels: 29 in the Basilica itself and 4 of more in the crypt.
His Holiness John Paul I reigned as Pope for 33 days.
Each of the three sections of Dante Divine Comedy (Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso) consist of 33 cantos.
Humans are born with 33 vertebrae.

Godspeed,
Taylor